How did you come up with the title and how much say did you have on the cover design?
Winter’s Magic was originally called Raising the Bar, a reflection of the opening scene between two co-workers, and a title I simply loved. After signing my publishing contract, I started looking at the bigger picture and decided a name change was necessary to brand the series more effectively. I came up with a list of words that I thought described the book — from there, the four seasons came to mind and fit with the timing and theme of the whole group.
Deborah Gilbert, from Soul Mate Publishing, is absolutely wonderful to work with. Each author completes a questionnaire for her graphic artist, Rae Monet, describing her vision for the cover. Rae does an amazing job of interpreting our information. I requested a font change, but otherwise, she nailed it the first time.
Do you have a favorite line or excerpt that you would like to share from your book?
I’d love to. In the following scene, Nick and Beth have just met for the second time. She’s reluctantly attending a Christmas party with her parents at the Chester family estate. Despite the attraction, she knows he’s out of her league. She had hoped to avoid him as much as possible and stick close to her best friend, Jenny, who hasn’t arrived yet.
Beth made her way over to the tree to get a closer view. Several handmade pieces intermingled with the sparkling crystal ornaments and gold strands of glass beads. She fingered the row of cotton balls that ran along the edge of a red felt Santa hat. On the top, in glitter writing, it said 1982. “Who made these?”
Nick laughed, but when she turned her head, she caught a hint of sadness in his eyes. “I made them with my mother when I was in grade school. Every year, on the first day of holiday break, we would go to the craft store and buy materials to make a dozen ornaments.”
“A dozen?” She wondered how a person ever got over losing a parent, much less losing both. Or if you even could. And his poor grandfather, losing a child ... Her chest tightened at the thought.
“One for our tree at home, one for Grandfather’s, several neighbors, and the mailman. And I’ll never forget Mrs. Sawyer at the bakery. She used to give me a free cinnamon roll when I came in with my grandfather.”
“We weren’t very crafty at my house. But Mom and I would bake like a storm. Candy, cookies, fudge. We always took packages to our neighbors on Christmas Eve, right before we went to church for Midnight Mass.”